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THE following pages contain the substance of what I said on the 
day of the general supplication in behalf of the Holy Father. It 
is confined to the political aspect of the Temporal Power, and deals 
only with the lowest ground on which it may be argued ; namely, 
that of legal and political justice. I had already at other times 
claimed for the Temporal Power its higher sanctions, as related to 
the person and office of the Vicar of Jesus Christ. It was then 
objected that this was to remove the question from the tangible 
region of fact and law, to the impalpable region of faith. Without 
repeating what I have so often said before, I have here confined 
myself to the same field of argument, on which all legitimate 
powers repose. If the British Empire can be justified in its sway 
over the three kingdoms, and its dependencies, or the American 
Union over the Southern States, then far more surely may the 
right of the Pontiffs be maintained by the same arguments. The 
only difference I know is, that we and the Americans have bayonets 
of our own. The Pontiffs are unarmed. Foreign bayonets are a 
legitimate defence against foreign revolutions. Let the seditions 
of all nations be withdrawn, with their acts, conspiracies, and in- 
trigues, from Rome, and there would be no need for bayonets. 



" Let every soul be subject to higher powers, for there is no 
power but from God ; and those that are, are ordained of God. 
Therefore he that resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of 
God ; and they that resist, purchase to themselves damnation." 
ROM. xii. 1-2. 

To-day the Catholic Church throughout England 
and Scotland is united in supplication in behalf of the 
Sovereign Pontiff. The Festival of to-day is dear to 
the heart of every Catholic. It is full of memories of 
the conflicts and of the victories of the Church. We 
commemorate the Holy Eosary of the Immaculate 
Mother of God, to whose prayers we ascribe these 
interventions of Divine power. No doubt, to the 
world, the Festival and the supplication of to-day is a 
solemnity of folly. We go out to our warfare not 
even with a sling and stones out of the brook, but 
with a string of beads in the hands of little children. 
The Pastors and faithful of Ireland have led the way. 
England and Scotland close the procession with their 
united prayers. 

I am conscious that I have to speak not only to 
those who are of the unity of the Catholic Church, 
but to those who are without ; not only to those who 

A 2 

believe, but to those who do not believe the Catholic 
faith. To you who believe it I need say nothing ; 
your faith and fervour anticipate all I can utter, and 
your instincts of filial love for the Holy Father need 
no words of mine. But to those who unhappily are 
not of the unity and faith of the Church I desire to 
speak frankly, appealing to the truths and principles 
which they hold in common with us. I trust and 
believe that the solemnity of to-day, if it does not 
change the mind of any, will at least clear away much 
misconception, and mitigate much hostility which 
springs from error. My confidence of this is founded 
on the justice of our cause, the force of truth, the 
honesty of Englishmen, and, whether they will or no, 
on the grace of God. 

There are here, I conceive, two classes of men 
some who believe in the Visible Church, and its mis- 
sion to the world and others who admit only a Divine 
Providence over the world, and the laws of morality. 

Now to both of these I offer this declaration of the 
Apostle, that submission is due to the constituted 
authority of government, on the principle not of expe- 
diency alone but of conscience ; and on this basis I 
trust to justify the Temporal Power of the Sovereign 
Pontiff. I affirm then (1) That the Temporal Power 
of the Pontiff is a power ordained of God. (2) That 
it stands at least upon the same basis as all other 
rightful authority. (3) That it is sacred by every 
right common to other powers, and by rights and sanc- 
tions which transcend all other authorities on earth ; 

and lastly (4) that it therefore cannot be resisted, nor 
can any one excite resistance against it, without sin 
against, not only political justice, but the ordinances 
of God. From all these I further affirm that the over- 
throw of that power, if it were possible, would be, in 
an exceptional and eminent sense, both unjust, and 
dangerous to the Christian civilization of the world. 

1. First, then, I affirm that the overthrow of the 
Temporal Power of the Sovereign Pontiff would be 
unjust, because it is sacred as a power existing de 
facto by the ordinance of God. St. Paul declared that 
even the heathen empire of Eome was ordained by 
God, and that every one owed subjection to it. He 
laid it upon the conscience of Christians to obey it in 
all things lawful, "not only for wrath," that is, for 
fear of punishment, " but also for conscience' sake." 
And yet the empire of Eome was not only heathen, 
but persecuting. It was steeped in Christian blood. 
Nevertheless, he declares it to be a power constituted 
by God. As such, the Christians obeyed it with an 
obedience limited only by the divine law of faith. 
And this law of civil obedience is of universal and 
perpetual obligation. It is this on which, as subjects 
of the British Empire we bear allegiance to our own 
Sovereign. As Catholics, we obey not for wrath only, 
but for conscience' sake ; it is a part of our religion to 
be loyal : it is a dictate of our moral sense to be obe- 
dient to the law and faithful to the Throne. If it 
were not so, civil obedience would be degraded from 
its dignity as a moral virtue, and treason would be 

divested of its highest guilt. There would be no such 
sin as heresy, if there were not a divine authority 
teaching among men ; nor such a sin as schism, if 
there were not a divine law of unity. Heresy would 
be mere error of opinion, and schism a lawful freedom 
of separation, if it were not for the divine authority of 
truth and the divine law of unity. So with treason, 
rebellion, sedition, disaffection ; if there were not a 
divine sanction for authority, they would be offences 
against society, but not sins against God : breaches of 
conventional laws, but not of Christian morality towards 
God. On what other principle is the British Empire 
held together ? Like the empire of Eome of old, it is 
heterogeneous, widespread, made up of elements the 
most diverse, and even conflicting, and yet bound 
together by one sovereignty, and by an universal bond 
of allegiance to the supreme power. Britain was once 
an anarchy of uncivilised Saxon hordes then a hep- 
tarchy of conflicting kingdoms then a monarchy of 
many peoples fused in one*; then it became an empire 
of three kingdoms under one Sovereign, with colonies 
and dependencies, and islands in every sea ; and all 
these dominions, in many things so opposite, are held 
together by one common head, to whom obedience 
is a duty not only for fear of punishment, but also 
for the law and will of God. Upon what other law 
can the duty of obedience be imposed by England upon 
Scotland and Ireland, upon India, and upon Malta ? 

It is precisely upon this basis, I affirm, that the 
Pontiffs have claim upon the obedience of their sub- 

jects, and that their subjects owe them allegiance for 
conscience' sake. The Temporal Power of the Popes 
is as manifestly and as fully ordained of God as 
the power of Queen Yictoria. Neither the one nor 
the other came by Plebiscite, or universal suffrage, or 
votes of inorganic masses, but by the gradual and 
watchful providence of the Divine Author of human 
and political society. The British Empire succeeds to 
the Eoman Empire in Britain by a direct law of 
Divine Providence. When the last Eoman legion left 
the shores of Britain, it began to gravitate to a centre 
within itself. The British Empire of to-day is formed 
round that centre, and rests upon it. So, when the 
Emperor of Constantinople ceased to be able to protect 
Some, the Yicar of Jesus Christ became its centre. 
The Emperor had ceased to rule, and the throne was 
vacant by the visitation of God. The Pontiffs reigned 
as pastors and as rulers, and unconsciously and by 
force of necessity filled the vacant throne. They have 
reigned in Borne, first with an informal and pastoral 
sovereignty, and afterwards with a full and explicit 
sovereignty from that time to this. On what ground 
then, can obedience to the sovereignty of Great Britain 
be claimed, if obedience to the sovereignty of the Pontiff 
be denied ? Every sanction of Divine Providence, 
and of Christian morals, and of political justice, con- 
firms the Temporal Sovereignty of the Pope. 

2. But further, the Temporal Power is not only a 
power de facto but de jure. It not only exists, but it 
exists by a perfect title. It is a rightful authority in 


its origin, in its formation, and in its claims upon its 
subjects. The foundation of it is not in the donation 
of man, but in the ordinance of God. The donation 
of Constantine is a fable ; but it rudely represents the 
divine action whereby Rome and its provinces were 
transferred from the Csesars to the Pontiffs. In like 
manner the alleged donation of Pepin to Stephen IT., 
is equally fabulous. The restoration of Eavenna, and 
other cities of the patrimony, to the Pontiff, is declared 
to be a restitution.* Pepin required of Astolphus the 

* That the Emperors of the East forfeited, in the eighth century 

at latest, all authority over Home and its provinces, and that the 

Pontiffs remained in sole and supreme possession ; and that the 

Emperors of the West never possessed or pretended to sovereignty 

over Rome and the Pontiffs, are facts as clear as any in history. 

The heretical and schismatical Emperor Leo made war upon 

Italy, and sent a fleet to seize the person of Gregory III. He 

invaded and seized the patrimonies of the Holy See in Sicily and 

Calabria. At that time the Lombards besieged Rome. The 

Emperors, so far from defending it, openly declared war against it. 

Gregory HI wrote to Charles Martel, imploring his protection ; 

and in his own name and that of the Roman people, offered him 

the dignity of Consul, on the condition of assuming the office of 

Protector. Charles Martel and Gregory III died the same year. 

The Lombards seized Ravenna and the Exarchate. Pope Zachary 

prevailed upon the King of the Lombards to restore Ravenna and 

the Exarchate, which he demanded, not in the name of the 

Emperor, but in his own and that of the Roman Commonwealth. 

The King of the Lombards restored them. It is declared to be 

a restitution. Throughout the history, the words redonavit, recon- 

cessit, restituit, are everywhere employed. Pope Stephen succeeded 

to Zachary, and in his time the Lombards, under Astolphus, once 

more seized the Exarchate. Stephen, in A.D. 753, sent into 

France to Pepin, imploring protection. Pepin and his sons, 


restitution of the cities and territories taken by his 
predecessors from the Eoman Church and common- 
wealth. He thereby recognises, and recites in the 
very document by which he made restoration, the 
antecedent rights which had been violated by the 
Lombard invaders. He gave back possession of the 
invaded provinces to their rightful owners, as in our 
day Eome was restored by the armies of France to its 
rightful Sovereign. When I say that Eome and its 
provinces were given to the Pontiffs by the donation 
of Divine Providence, I speak as strictly as when I 
say that the throne of England was given by Divine 
Providence to our reigning Sovereign. T will not, nor 
indeed in this brief time can I, trace out the gradual 
formation of the Temporal Power, from the time of 

Charles and Carloraan, bound themselves by an engagement to 
restore to the Holy See, the Exarchate of Ravenna and the cities 
seized by the Lombards. The Pope conferred on Pepin and his 
sons the dignity of Patrician or Protector. Pepin fulfilled his 
engagement. Anastasius relates the event as follows : " The most 
Christian prince Pepin, King of the Franks, as a true defender 
of the Blessed Peter (the Roman Church), and in obedience to 
the wholesome counsels of the Holy Pontiff, sent his envoys to 
Astolphus, the wicked King of the Lombards, to obtain treaties 
of peace, and the restitution of rights to the before-named Holy 
Church of God, and the Commonwealth." Finally, Pepin was 
compelled to exact the restitution by force of arms. This is called 
by French writers the donation of Pepin : the word donation being 
used for restoration. Neither Pepin, nor any of his predecessors, 
had ever so much as laid claim to Rome. For the full detail of 
these events and the quotations of the original documents, see 
Gosselin's Power of the Popes, etc. Vol. I, pp. 212 228, and the 
notes especially at p. 216. 

A 3 


the liberation of the Pontiffs from all civil subjection, 
through the period of inchoate government to the 
formal sovereignty which they have borne for a thou- 
sand years. In the five centuries which intervened 
between the ceasing of persecution and the full sove- 
reignty of the Pontiffs, they held the temporal posses- 
sion of their three-and-twenty patrimonies in Italy, 
Sicily, and Gaul, and over those patrimonies they 
exercised a true temporal power of government. Such 
was the origin of their sovereignty. Eound about 
these patrimonies, kingdoms and commonwealths arose 
the first expanding outlines of Christian Europe. 
Over these also the Pontiffs exercised a supreme spi- 
ritual authority in all matters of divine faith and of 
the moral law. The confederation of Christendom is 
only the full corn in the ear, the harvest which springs 
up from the first blade to its ripeness under the hand 
and eye of the Pontiffs. How could they who had 
received from the Pontiffs both their Christianity and 
their civilisation, regard them otherwise than as their 
fathers and guides ? The light of faith taught them 
that the Vicar of Jesus Christ was the supreme inter- 
preter of the truth, and the supreme expositor of the 
law. How could they regard them in any way as 
subject to the authority of their princes ? The doc- 
trines of faith, the Sacraments of grace, the unity of 
the Church, the supreme authority descending from 
one fountain of jurisdiction, bound all Christian nations 
in one, round the patrimonies of the Pontiffs and the 
person of the Vicar of Jesus Christ. How could they 


regard him as in any way dependent on human power, 
and not as superior to them all ? As supreme ruler, 
legislator, and judge, the Pontiffs hold their sove- 
reignty not only by a title equal to all temporal 
princes, but in a way eminent and singular. If there 
be on earth a sovereign right complete in every condi- 
tion of its perfection, it is theirs. 

3. And yet it has a higher sacredness. It has the 
confirmation of the most ancient tradition in the 
Christian world. While as yet Britain was pagan and 
barbarous, and France overrun by moving hordes, and 
Spain hardly counted as a nation, and Germany a 
forest of the heathen world, the Yicars of Jesus Christ 
reigned in Eome as pastors and as rulers. It may be 
said that possession pre-supposes a rightful title. True, 
but not always. Possession will confirm an invalid 
title; nay, it will create a valid one. The titles of 
usurpation and revolution may by lapse of time be 
confirmed by long possession against all claims, except 
that of the Church : for its possessions are sacred and 
cannot be usurped without sacrilege, which no length 
of possession can consecrate. And if lapse of time 
confirm a title invalid in the beginning, how much 
more does it confirm, and, I will say, consecrate a title 
rightful in its origin and its history by every condition 
of justice, both human and divine? 

And such is the possession of the Pontiffs over the 
patrimony of the Church, and such the right of rule 
as sovereigns over Eome and its provinces. Even the 
violations of this right by invaders and spoilers have 


only recorded it again and again in the public law of 
Christendom. The imperial laws from the eighth 
century, the laws of all European kingdoms down to 
the sixteenth, and of all international diplomacy down 
to this day have recognised the rights of the Pontiffs 
to their possessions, and their independent and there- 
fore sovereign power. It was reserved for the age of 
revolutions, and for the inverted political philosophy 
of this century, to efface the record of these rights from 
the public conscience of Europe. 

Thus far I have argued the Temporal Power upon 
grounds common to all temporal authorities. It rests 
upon the same basis, but more securely than all, and 
has upon it the sanction of a Divine Providence, and 
of a divine protection which no other sovereignty 
can shew. 

4. But we must go further. The right by which the 
Pontiff holds his temporal power is not only sacred 
by all the sanctions which confirm it in other sove- 
reignties ; it has a special and singular sacredness 
which makes it exceptional and eminent above them 
all. The power of temporal rule in him meets and is 
united with the higher authority of the Vicar of Jesus 
Christ, which is both divine in its origin, and super- 
natural in its action. I know that I am now passing 
beyond the bounds of politics, and entering into a 
region where modern politicians seem to lose their 
calmness and their clearness of sight. Day by day, 
we are told that we confound together the Spiritual 
and the Temporal Power ; that we make the spiritual 


to depend upon the possession of a strip of territory ; 
that we proclaim the Temporal Power to be a doctrine 
of faith and a part of Christianity which, if the Tem- 
poral Power be destroyed, will fall. For my own part, 
I never yet met any Catholic either so besotted in 
understanding, or so base in heart, as to fall into any 
of these monstrous absurdities. Nevertheless, they 
are repeated day by day, as by the monotonous revo- 
lution of a mill wheel, which perpetually discharges 
the same noisy flood. It is of no use to expostulate, 
to correct, to refute ; over and over again, sometimes 
with a variation of phrase, oftener in the very same 
words, the same absurdities are poured over us. Of 
all men, they who believe that the Spiritual Power 
of the Yicar of Jesus Christ was derived by a direct 
commission from our Divine Eedeemer ; that it is con- 
tained in the words, " all power in heaven and in 
earth is given unto me, go ye, therefore, and make 
disciples of all nations," and " I dispose unto you a 
kingdom as my father hath disposed unto me," and 
" thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my 
Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against 
it;" and that the Church and the Pontiffs for three 
hundred years in their Spiritual Power alone con- 
quered the world by martyrdom ; and that if the 
powers of the world apostatise from the Church of God, 
the Pontiffs will once more reign in un diminished 
Spiritual Power, though through persecution, and not 
in peace : of all men, I say, they who believe these 
things, and proclaim them even to provocation, as we 

, 14 

do, ought to be held guiltless at least of the absurdities 
of confounding the Spiritual and the Temporal, or of 
making strips of territory, or walls of stone, the essence 
of Christianity, or the necessary condition of spiritual 
power. I doubt if men really believe these portentous 
figments. But they fill up space where arguments 
are not to be had. You who believe that the Holy 
Catholic Church in its unity and universality, in its 
supreme legislation and judicial power over the souls 
of men, with its perfections and gifts of indefectible 
life, and infallible knowledge and voice, is the king- 
dom of Jesus upon earth ; and that the Vicars of 
Christ have reigned, from the hour of His ascension, 
over both the pastors and the flock, apart from all 
earthly power, and in spite of all its malice and of all 
its might, have no need to be told by any one, least 
of all by me, that we of all men distinguish the im- 
perishable Church of God from all temporal accidents 
of possession and of power. Nay, more, it was the 
spiritual power of the Church, which, conquering all 
temporal antagonists, fashioned for itself by faith and 
law and beneficence, acting upon the reason, the con- 
science, and the heart of mankind, a new order, a new 
world with new temporal laws, and new thrones, and 
new tribunals of temporal sovereignty. It surrounded 
itself with a new apparatus for the service and welfare 
of men. The eternal clothed itself in the temporal, 
that it might mix more intimately and more effectually 
in the whole corporate and organic life of men and 
nations, with their public laws, the fountains of their 


legislation, and the directions of their judges and 
other rulers. Such is the Temporal Power of the 
Pontiff; a personal freedom, and a supreme direction 
over men and nations in all things pertaining to the 
faith and law of God. And for the peaceful exercise 
of this supreme office, the Providence of God has 
formed for him a sphere into which no other sove- 
reignty may enter ; in which, therefore, because sole 
and supreme, he is invested with sovereign power. 
And of this too we are confident, that so long as a 
Christian world exists, so long this providential centre 
of its unity, the source of its Christian life will con- 
tinue to exist. If the civilization of Europe ever fall 
back into the mere natural order, and the law and 
faith of Jesus Christ pass from the reason and con- 
science of men, then indeed the Temporal Power of 
His Yicar upon earth might cease. It is therefore 
transient only, as the Christian world may be thought 
to pass away. So long as it exists, the laws and rela- 
tions which fashioned it will remain permanent and 
changeless ; and he who is recognised to be Pastor and 
Father, Judge and Legislator over all, and Vicar of 
our Divine Eedeemer upon earth, will hold the first 
place in both orders, Spiritual and Temporal, as Pontiff 
and as King. 

5. And lastly, the temporal Power of the Sovereign 
Pontiff, sacred as it is by every title which consecrates 
the right of any ruler upon earth, confirmed by a longer 
possession and a more ample recognition in the law 
and conscience of the Christian world, and elevated by 


the divine commission of the Vicar of Jesus Christ to 
a singular and exceptional authority, has yet this last 
title to the obedience of its subjects, to which no other 
dynasty among men can lay claim. It is a power 
which has never oppressed its people. In affirming 
the doctrine of the Apostle, that " there is no power 
but from God, and that whosoever resisteth the power, 
resisteth the ordinance of God," I am not proclaiming 
what men are pleased to call the slavish doctrine of 
blind and immoral obedience. Rulers have their 
duties as well as their rights, and subjects have rights 
as well as duties. The ruler has a right to obedience, 
but he is bound by a duty to rule justly. The subject 
has a duty to obey, but he has also a right to justice. 
And the violation of the bond of their reciprocal duties 
is not only a crime, in both the ruler and the ruled, 
against society, which is an ordinance of God ; but a 
sin against God, who is the supreme Author of society 
among men. It is not now the time, nor is it now my 
duty to define the limits of this question, or to say 
when or where a rightful power abdicates its claim to 
obedience by abuse. Tyranny, as well as rebellion, is 
a crime and a sin, and both have their just correction. 
"No power can be more absolute than the law "thou 
shalt not kill," and yet in defence of life both an in- 
dividual or a nation may take the life of a murderer 
or of an invading power. I am not here at this time 
to discuss these limits. They exist ; and there are tri- 
bunals in every society of men to define them, and to 
try the facts both of rebellion and oppression. It is 


enough for me to affirm that no Pontiff in the long 
line of a thousand, I may say of these fifteen hun- 
dred years, has ever abused his power, so as to relax 
the duty of obedience, or to purge the resistance of his 
subjects of the sin of rebellion. And this, which may 
be affirmed of the Pontiffs without fear, can be affirmed 
of no other line of rulers, of no other dynasty on earth. 
The Pontiffs have never made wars of aggression ; they 
have never added a square foot of territory to their 
sacred patrimony by the blood and lives of their 
people ; they have never swept away their homes by 
forest laws, nor plundered their inheritances, nor dese- 
crated the sanctity of their homes, nor robbed them of 
the fruits of the earth to keep up a revenue and to live 
in luxury, nor wrested justice against any man, rich or 
poor, nor punished with oppressive and sanguinary 
codes, nor violated any laws of God or man to the hurt 
of their people. It is notorious as the light, that the 
sway of the Pontiffs has been mild even to indulgence, 
and beneficent even to the appearance of laxity. The 
very charges against it are that it does not drive on 
with the world, and strain in the race of material in- 
ventions. It has prisons because it hardly ever erects 
a scaffold ; and lives that in any other country would 
have been peremptorily cut off are there benignly 
spared. Such is the character of the Temporal Power 
in its government. Its very clemency has emboldened 
those with whom it has dealt in excess of mercy, to 
despise it. The first amnesty was followed by the 
first conspiracy, and those who were conspicuous as 


objects of pardon were conspicuous as the ringleaders 
of sedition. After a reign of twenty turbulent years, 
and in the midst of incessant provocations, Pius the 
Ninth may ask of his people in his own name, and in 
the name of the Pontiffs who have reigned before him : 
" Whom have I wronged, or on whom has the weight 
of my authority borne heavily ? If any one be ag- 
grieved by me let him rise up and bear his witness 
against me." I will be bold to say that no accuser 
will be found except they whose witness, as those of 
old, will not agree together. Men are now acknow- 
ledging that the rising against the government of the 
Pontiff is not because Pius the Mnth is a bad ruler, 
nor because his government is a bad government, nor 
because he has violated the law of mercy and justice^ 
but because his subjects are resolved not to be governed 
by him. That is to* say, " we will not have this man 
to reign over us."M[f this be not treason, if this be 
not rebellion, let sfine one tell me what rebellion and 
treason are. If people are to be told that they may 
change their government as they may change their 
garments, that civil allegiance depends upon their 
liking, or that dynasties may be overthrown and 
monarchies dismembered upon such causes as this, let 
them lay to heart what ears are listening. This is a 
doctrine which will find a ready faith to believe and 
practise it among a people not far off. And upon those 
who preach this gospel of revolution, I, as a pastor, am 
bound to declare that the sin of instigating rebellion 
rests, and that all who act upon such doctrine abroad 
or at home are rebels. 


The sum then of the matter is this : There is not 
a title of fact, or right, or possession, by which any 
crowned head holds authority over its people which 
does not unite in the largest and profoundest sense in 
the person of the Pontiff. But more than this : besides 
these titles common to all rightful sovereignties, there 
are two of a higher nature, the sacred character of the 
person who bears this lesser authority, and the justice, 
clemency, and mercy, which have marked its adminis- 
tration throughout the course of ages. The subjects of 
such a power have an inheritance of peace above all 
people upon earth. It is not disfranchisement to be 
exempted from the instabilities of the world and from 
the turbulence of revolution. They have a higher 
dignity and a nobler freedom than that of parliaments 
and political contentions ; and they who excite them 
to discontent, and to rebellion, rob them of a higher 
inheritance, and fall under the condemnation of those 
who resist the ordinance of God. 

So much for the injustice of this warfare against 
the Vicar of Jesus Christ. I said also that it is most 
dangerous to the peace of nations. Injustice must be 
dangerous : prosper as it may, its end is confusion. 
But time forbids me to add what I had intended to 
say. All I can do is to touch the mere outline of 
what would follow upon the dissolution, if that could 
be, of the Temporal Power of the Pontiffs. But first 
let me once for all, or rather once more for the thou- 
sandth time, sweep away the absurdity imputed to 
us, day by day, that we make the Temporal Power a 


part of Christianity, and that if it were overthrown 
Christianity would fall with it. This surpasses even 
the extravagance of controversy. We do believe, 
indeed, that the dissolution of the two-fold authority 
of the Pontiff would strike out the key stone of Chris- 
tendom ; that is, of the two-fold order of Christianity 
and civilization which for a thousand years has sus- 
tained the commonwealth of Europe. We believe that 
then Christianity would stand alone, on its own divine 
and imperishable basis ; and that civilization without 
Christianity would return to the natural order, and to 
the spiritual death out of which Christianity raised it 
to life. 

It is no question of what God could do, or might 
do, or may do hereafter, for the future of the world. 
We are as full of faith in the inexhaustible wisdom of 
Divine Providence as our adversaries ; but this we 
affirm, that it is by this two-fold contact that the 
Church acts upon the Christianity and the civilization 
of mankind ; that so long as Christianity acts alone, it 
acts upon individuals, one by one, as in the ages before 
Constantine ; that so soon as it acts upon races, legis- 
latures, rulers, kingdoms, upon the public law and 
organic life of nations, the Temporal Power is its 
legitimate offspring and result. To undo this, is to 
go backward, not onward. It is to dissolve the work 
of Christianity upon the world, not to advance it ; to 
pull down, not to build up, the intellectual and moral 
perfection of human society. We affirm also that this 
retrogression and divorce of the spiritual and civil 


societies of the world would desecrate the civil powers 
of the world. They would cease to recognise, as they 
have already to a great extent, the Christian law, 
the unity of faith, worship, communion, or authority, 
as principles of their public order. 

And this would speedily bring on collision between 
the two powers always in presence of each other, each 
claiming to be supreme, with no arbiter or tribunal, 
no third and impartial judge to define the limits of their 
jurisdiction or the sphere of their competence. And 
this conflict could end only in the worst form of 
human government, that is, in despotism, or the union 
of temporal and spiritual supremacy in the civil power, 
which has ever been the fountain of persecution, of 
heresy, and of schism. The two powers, spiritual and 
temporal, are providentially united in Borne that they 
may be separated everywhere else in the kingdoms 
of the world. And it is this separation which has 
secured the two great conditions of human happiness, 
the liberty of the soul from all human authority, and 
the limitation of civil authority in its action upon its 
subjects. The history of Constantinople, of Eussia, of 
England, and of France, suffices to prove that the power 
of monarchs is limited while the Church is free, and is 
despotic when it is fettered or opposed. The civil 
princedom of the Pontiffs therefore is, as Pius IX. has 
declared, the condition of Divine Providence to ensure 
and perpetuate the freedom of the Church in its Head. 

Lastly, nothing is more largely written in history 
than that despotisms generate revolutions. When civil 


power becomes oppressive, men are .driven to dan- 
gerous resolves. Into this I will not enter. I am no 
prophet ; but the history of Europe reads us a lesson 
in the past which we shall do well to lay to heart as a 
warning for the future. Whosoever dissolves the 
bonds of Christian law and unity brings in the spirit 
of lawlessness which is the tendency of all the national 
currents of this time. Society, to save itself, cowers 
under military despotisms which generate reactions 5 
and reactions, unless tempered and restrained by the 
Christian law, are the fore-runners of anarchy. There 
are signs enough, not only in the sky but upon every 
country of the old world and of the new, warning us 
not to destroy the feeblest bond of our social stability, 
still less to strike out the key-stone of the arch which 
hangs tremulously over our heads. 

Such then is the intention of our supplication to-day. 
God has so ordained that His Church should be always 
beaten by the water floods. The red surges of perse- 
cution were followed by the inundations of barbarous 
hordes ; then came floods of heresy, and of Csesarism, 
and of imperial tyranny and corruption ; then the 
hosts of the infidel, which reached to all the shores of 
Christendom ; now the revolutions which are one and 
universal, spreading through the nations and rising 
round the walls of Eome. But wave after wave has 
swept by, turned by the sea-wall which God has built, 
not man ; the Eock immoveable. For this we pray, 
and for this we confidently wait. It is but one more 
of the thousand waves which are spent and gone. The 


Vicar of our Divine Kedeemer for these twenty years 
of his great Pontificate has been sitting all alone upon 
the hill- top, " awaiting the events" which God has 
permitted. The world has passed him by, wagging 
its head, and men have been " casting lots upon his 
garments, what every man should take." But the 
words of his Master are sure, post tres dies resurgam, 
" after three days I will rise again." Pray, then, to 
the Eternal Son of God reigning in the midst of us, 
manifested in the Sacrament of His power. The 
world is trying its strength with Him : armed in its 
might, intoxicated with its masteries over the earth 
which He has made. But there are powers above 
those of war and of destruction, greater than the 
laws and agencies of electricity and gravitation, which 
control this lower world, and of man himself even 
when he boasts of his mastery ; there is the Word of 
God and the power of His might, and they are set in 
motion by the prayer of faith. " All things whatso- 
ever you shall ask in prayer believing, you shall re- 
ceive." St. Matt. xxi. 22. " Heaven and earth shall 
pass away, but my words shall not pass away." St. 
Luke, xxi. 32.